Welcome! Thanks for stopping by.
Gospel Shaped Family is the online home for Josh Mulvihill. I hope you take a few minutes to explore the site, check out the resources, and consider how I can serve you.
I’m passionate about family discipleship and biblical worldview. I serve with a wonderful ministry called Renewanation where I am the Executive Director of Church and Family Ministry. I have the privilege of equipping the church, family, and school to help children develop a biblical worldview through speaking, preaching, writing, and consulting.
In case you want to know a little about me as a person, I married Jen in 2000. We have the occasional argument about how many throw pillows is too many; but otherwise, being married to Jen has been one of the greatest blessings of my life (if the Vikings ever win the superbowl, that may come close). We homeschool our five children: Jay, Asher, Kate, Jon, and Emily. We live in Victoria, MN on a small hobby farm where we have bees, chickens, cats, a black lab, and hopefully soon a few pigs. We’ve been renovating a 100 year-old farmhouse, which has been a labor of love. Jen and I love laughing with friends over coffee, mentoring younger parents, and reading or writing a great book. I also love to fish, camp, and a bonfire.
I like to joke that I’ve been in full time ministry my entire life. My parents served with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) for 37 years, so I guess that makes me a missionary kid. My parents trained Christian professors at state colleges to integrate Christianity into their classroom. Education, apologetics, and discipleship were key pillars of my parent’s ministry and I had the joy of being their ministry associate and learning on the job. My parents did a fantastic job of discipling us as children and often reminded us to “Live in light of eternity.”
It was 2002 that I stepped into my first pastoral role. One of my first priorities was to get to know each of the families at the church and learn about what they were doing to disciple their children at home. What I learned turned out to be alarming and transformational for me as a pastor.
Parent after parent confessed that beyond mealtime or bedtime prayers and the occasional faith conversation, that they were not doing much to intentionally disciple their children. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this was a major problem. The secular influences from media and education combined with limited discipleship at home and irregular church attendance was a recipe for disaster for children.
This problem sent me on a path to learn how to equip parents. I enrolled at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to get a PhD in Family Ministry and my course work trained me in three areas: Family Ministry, Education, and Leadership with a focus on biblical worldview. On that journey, God opened my eyes to the importance of grandparents in the discipleship of children and I wrote my dissertation on the biblical role of Christian grandparents. At the time, the topic was largely ignored by churches and my professor told me that the only people who would want to read it where my wife and mother.
Dennis Rainey heard about my research and invited me to join him on Family Life Today radio. During a three minute recording break Dennis asked me to provide the title of my grandparenting book (which didn’t exist) and informed me that I had seven weeks to get it published. That’s how the book Biblical Grandparenting came into existence, which eventually grew to be a seven book grandparenting series with Bethany House called Grandparenting Matters. Since I’m not a grandparent, I still marvel that God used me for this purpose. God spoke through a donkey, so I guess He can speak through anyone. God has used these books to create a Christian grandparenting movement and I’m honored to have been a small part of it.
In 2010, I joined the staff of a mega-church in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was tasked with pastoring the children’s ministry and developing a family ministry for the church. God grew my vision for family discipleship from equipping parents to include grandparents and then again expanded it to include education. I spent close to a decade developing family ministry around the four primary, God-designed influences in a child’s life: parents, grandparents, education, and the church.
During this season, I began to create resources for parents and some of these can be found in the Gospel Shaped Family store. I had the joy of helping to create four children’s CDs called Roots Kids Worship. I believe what is sung in song is remembered long. So we put core doctrines and key Bible verses into music. I also wrote our children’s ministry curriculum, which is available as a free download in the store. I’ve written four parenting books to date: Preparing Children for Marriage, Biblical Worldview, Preparing Your Child for Believers Baptism, and 50 Things Every Child Needs to Know Before Leaving Home.
In 2017 I joined the staff of Renewanation and have the amazing privilege of working with pastors and church leaders as well as parents and grandparents all over the United States and Canada. I help families and churches apply the Bible to life and ministry. I’m a regular conference speaker, radio guest, and writer. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at D6, Mega Con, Children’s Pastors Conference, Legacy Summit, Family Life Today, Moody Radio, and Focus on the Family. Many of these talks or interviews are available in the media section. You can also learn more about some of the topics and conferences I offer in the speaker section. I have the joy of serving on the board of Awana, a ministry that impacts six million children weekly.
When you get a chance, visit Renewanation.org and learn about what we do and how we can serve you. You will see that we have a passion to help children develop a biblical worldview through any and all means. But before you visit Renewanation, take a moment to explore this website and feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear from you!